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The parable of the lost son

Kids at home 21st February

Sometimes Jesus told stories when He wanted people to really understand important lessons. If the lessons were hard then Jesus sometimes told simple stories to help people understand the things that were hard to understand. These stories were called parables.

Over the next few weeks we are going to be learning some of the parables that Jesus told and looking at what Jesus is teaching us in each one!

Today we are learning about the parable of the lost son!

Let’s start with some worship! Feel free to sing and dance or just watch and listen, Jesus doesn’t mind how we worship, he just loves it when we spend time with him and sing his praises!

One Thing Remains – Bethel Kids

Good Good Father – Chapelhill Kids

Our God is a Great Big God – Vineyard Kids

Story time

The parable of the lost son

“Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:11-24 NIV

Note to families:

Page 272 (Running away) if you have the Jesus Storybook Bible at home

Some important points to remember…

  • In the story that Jesus told, the father wasn’t angry at his son for running away and making some bad choices, he was looking out of his window every day, hoping and praying that his son would come back to him!
  • Sometimes, we might think we are better off following our own plan than God’s plan for us (just like the younger son did at the beginning of the story) but we have to remember that what God wants for us is the very best thing for us and so His plan is the best plan! 
  • God is a really good father! We can always run to Him instead of running away from Him! Even if we think we’ve messed up too much, or made too many mistakes, we just need to tell God we are sorry and He will welcome us in to His arms!
  • God’s children can never run too far, or be too lost, for God to find them! No matter what you do, God will always love you and He will never give up on you! 
  • God will always have a big party when we come back to Him or when people come to know Him as their Father! The same way that the dad in the story had a big party when his son came home!

Some things to talk to your family about…

  • What did the father do when his son returned? How did he treat his son?
  • Do you think that there is anything that the son could have done to make his dad stop loving him? 
  • Is there anything that we could do that would stop God from loving us and welcoming us home? 
  • What do you think that God wants us to do if we ever do realise that we have ran away from Him or we have done the wrong thing? 

Memory Verse

Nothing can separate us from the love of God. – Romans 8:39

I am so thankful that nothing I can do will separate me from God! No matter how many times I make a mistake or do the wrong thing, God will always love me. Even if I am sometimes unkind to my siblings or I do something that I know I shouldn’t, I know that I can always say sorry to God and He will forgive me. I know that God is always going to love me and nothing will ever change that and that’s exactly the same for you too! 

Why don’t you make a poster with this wonderful verse on? You could decorate it and hang it up somewhere in your house so that you will see it every day! You could decorate the poster on your own or together as a family!

Prayer time

God loves you so much! Isn’t it amazing that nothing in this world is ever going to stop Him from loving us? Why don’t we just take a moment to think about this quietly? Jesus might want to tell us something as we wait and listen to Him too, He often does! Then, as we pray in a minute, remember just how much He loves you! 

Dear God, 

Thank you so much for being an amazing and loving Father. I know that there is nothing I could ever do that would make you stop loving me. I know that you will never give up on me and I am so thankful for that. I pray that you would help me to love others like you love me. Help me to always run into your arms and not away from you and please help me to be loving to those around me because I know I am so loved by you!


Craft time

God loves me!

This parable is all about a father’s love and it gives us a beautiful picture of God’s heart of love towards each of us, so let’s create a beautiful heart to remind us of this today! You can decorate your heart in any way you’d like, you might want to write something on it to remind you that God will always love you!

Materials needed:

  • Paper/card
  • Scissors
  • Colouring pens/pencils
  • Decorative items e.g. glitter, stickers, gems

Note to families:

The Bible App for kids is another good resource to use at home with your children if you’d like. You’ll find animated bible stories, as well as different activities related to each story that the children may be able to complete or themselves or that you can complete all together as a family.